Friday, February 12, 2016

Meal Plan Monday: Skinny Taste Cookbook - Part THREE

This week I've been cooking from The Skinnytaste Cookbook (My third week cooking from this)

Here is what is on my menu... Full disclosure I actually made just about everything up until Friday ahead of time

I've been in Brussels until this evening... The Saturday and Sunday plans are what I hope to make this weekend.

  • BREAKFAST: Corny Banana-Blueberry Pancakes (p.48) 
  • LUNCH: Turkey Santa Fe Taco Salad with Avocado Crema (p.137)
  • SUPER BOWL SNACK: Caliente Bean and Queso Dip (p.101)
  • Pizza night... no energy to cook after I had done so much the day before and I was packing
  • Slow Cooker Santa Fe Chicken (p.73)
  • "Un" Stuffed Cabbage Soup (p.63)
  • Left Overs
  • Chicken Philly Cheesesteaks (p.84)
  • BREAKFAST: Dad's Jammin' Crepes (p.51)
  • DINNER: Easy Broccolini Flounder Bake (p.216) 
  • BREAKFAST: Winter Potato, Kale, and Sausage (p.35)
  • DINNER: Kiss My (Shrimp and) Grits (p.219)

  • Double chocolate Chunk Walnut Cookies (p.292)
  • Coco-Loco Mango Green Smoothie (p.24)

Monday, February 8, 2016

Cooking Light Recap

This last week I cooked from  2016 Cooking Light Annual Recipes book and I LOVED IT! I already gushed all about how the cookbook is formatted HERE

Here is what I ended up making this week!

  • Halibut with Balsamic Cherry Tomatoes (p.47) So good and really easy and quick!
  • Radish and Avocado Quinoa (p.44)  - I elevated my plating game with this by using a cooking round to perfectly shape the side dish!

  • Caramelized Onion Burgers (p.24)  - I was out of town so I made these burgers on the stove before heading out of town. Matt just needed to reheat and add to some buns.

  • Asian Beef Stew -Friend made this for the family to eat while I was out of town and it was sooo yummy. I stole a bowl when I got home from my work trip

  • Italian Turkey and Orzo Soup (p.45)  - Made this in advance for Matt to just heat up while I was out of town. -- No photo sorry
  • Ate dinner with my parents
  • Butternut Squash, Kale, and Black Bean Quesadillas (p.47) - I thought that these were okay but the family was not impressed... made them for lunch

  • Chicken with Artichoke Pan Sauce (p.33)  This is going to become a regular in the Park household and I think that I will likely cook it again the next time that we host people for dinner.

  • PB and Banana Milkshakes (p.27) - I thought that these were going to be a hit with the kiddos but they ended up being a bust

At the end of the week I was really wishing that I had a chance to make even more... just ran out of time.

Check back in tomorrow to see what is on the menu for this week!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

February Goals & January Recap

So many goals for the month of FEB but I am most excited about the week that I have off at the end of the month! Major family time in the next two months!
 and here is how I did in January...
I made the little window garden that Matt got me for Christmas (full details on a later blog... if the plants actually grow)

I worked out and blogged a little but not as much as I would have liked too.

Had some great mini dates with my family members... even if it was just a walk around the neighborhood alone with just one kiddo it was nice to spend some individual time with each one

100 items went off to Salvation Army, just this morning.

We are GREATLY looking forward to a family ski trip to Colorado at the end of this month. It will provide some much needed family time.

For Spring break... we were originally planning a trip to Mexico and I had made all the arrangements HOWEVER now we have shifted to a trip to CA. The trip will just include Emma, my mom, and me.

Christmas decoration were all packed up early in the month but just last week I FINALLY got around to putting them away in storage.

Not too shabby. 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Favorite Things Friday

Here are a few items that have caught my eye this week!

This Acrylic Wall Calendar is the biggest thing that I am drooling over right now!

How fun is this Star Wars room decor? I feel like this is something that Emma would love to have in her room and something that she can make herself!

This diy abacus is amazing.

The second I saw the Hungover Cookbook on Amazon I instantly bought three. One for myself and two to give as hostess gifts! I cannot wait to see what is inside!

I've shared previously that I LOVE some guacamole, mine is badass! Well, this week in San Diego I had an opportunity to try Guacamole with Pomegranate. It was AMAZING and I plan to throw some seeds into my own recipe the next time that I make it!

Obsessed with the Co-Ed Wood themed baby shower ... need someone to throw a shower for though!

Also you need to stop by this blog to get some great tips for taking photos of kiddos.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Meal Plan Monday: Cooking Light 2016 Annual Recipes

This week I'm cooking from a GREAT new cookbook that I received as a Christmas gift from my good friend Kim. It is the 2016 Cooking Light Annual Recipes book and I LOVE IT! I plan to cook from this year-round as it is broken up by month. So you can expect to see this cookbook for one week out of every month.

The months are broken down by themes and the JAN/FEB theme centers around Starting your Year off Light!

It even includes a recommended meal plan for the ENTIRE month of January to jump start the year and helpful tips to keep you on track to live a healthy lifestyle.

One of my FAVORITE features though would be the toppers on each recipe that outline if a meal is:
  • Kid friendly
  • Vegetarian
  • Quick & Easy 
  • Freezable
  • Make Ahead
  • Gluten Free 

AND the cookbook gives you nutritional information for each and every recipe... Super helpful if you are trying to eat healthier.

Now that have gushed about how much I love this cookbook and why I think that everyone of you should buy it... here is what I'm cooking this week!

  • Halibut with Balsamic Cherry Tomatoes (p.47) 
  • Radish and Avocado Quinoa (p.44)  
TUESDAY - Out of town so I will make in advance
  • Caramelized Onion Burgers (p.24) 
 WEDNESDAY - Out of town
  • Meal made by a good friend - LOVE my sister wife, Stephanie, who goes above an beyond to help keep my family fed while I'm on the road. SHE IS AMAZING! 
THURSDAY - Out of town so I will make in advance
  • Italian Turkey and Orzo Soup (p.45)  
  • Left Overs 

  • Lunch: Butternut Squash, Kale, and Black Bean Quesadillas (p.47) 
  • Dinner: Chicken with Artichoke Pan Sauce (p.33) 
  • Orange-Ginger Fizz (p.27) 
  • Cocoa-Hazelnut Truffles (p.28) 
  • PB and Banana Milkshakes (p.27)

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Steak al Forno and the most AMAZING Brussels Sprouts

As I promised earlier in the week I had one more meal to tell you about from the Nordstrom: Family Table Cookbook. The cover of the cookbook was one of the main reasons I actually wanted to buy the cookbook.

That Brussels Sprout Casserole looked amazing and Brussels Sprouts are Matt's favorite veggie so I knew instantly that it was a dish that I wanted to try out.

Two weeks ago I had an international work trip to go on and decided to cook a special dinner for Matt the night before I left.
  • Steak al Forno (p.90) 
  • Gratineed Brussels Sprouts (p.182)

First, for the Brussels Sprouts:

  • 4T EVOO
  • 1/2 Package Thick Bacon, cut in 1/4 inch slices (Can also use diced Prosciutto) 
  • 1 1/4 Lb Brussels Sprouts, trimmed and cut in half 
  • 1/4 c Shallots, Chopped 
  • 1/3 c Dry White Wine
  • 2 c Chicken Broth 
  • 1/2 t Kosher Salt 
  • 1/4 t Ground Black Pepper 
  • 2c Gruyere Cheese, Shredded
  • 2 c Heavy Cream 

Heat 2 T of the EVOO in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl, lined with a paper towel, to drain. 

Add the brussels sprouts to the bacon fat in the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown around the edges, about 10 minutes. Add the shallots and cook until they soften, about 2 minutes.

Add wine and cook until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Cook, Stirring occasionally, until the brussels sprouts are tender and liquid is reduced by half, about 20 minutes,  

Pre-heat the oven to 375. 

Using a slotted spoon remove the Brussels Sprouts and place into a into a 2-quart baking dish. Continue cooking the liquid that the brussels sprouts were cooked in. Bring to a boil and simmer until reduced to about 2T (about 5 minutes) Add cream, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the cream is reduced by about half (10 minutes) Add salt and pepper to taste

Add half of the gruyere cheese to the brussels sprouts

Add cream mixture

Add bacon

Add the rest of the cheese

Bake for 20 minutes

Now for the Delish Steak... So there a a bit of prep but the actual cook time is extremely fast.

  • Sirloin to New York Strip Steaks 
  • 1 1/2 c Parmigiano-reggiano cheese, shredded 
  • 2T minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 T unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1T kosher salt
  • 1t ground black pepper 

Let steaks sit at room temperature and season with salt and pepper

Mix cheese and parsley in a small bowl and set aside

In a small saucepan cook the butter and garlic on medium-low heat for 1 minute 

Heat Broiler and line a sheet-pan with aluminum foil.

Heat skillet on very high heat and add 2 T EVOO. Once pan is hot add the steaks. Cook for 4 minutes, flip, cook for 4 more minutes.

Transfer the steaks to the prepared sheet-pan. Divide the cheese/parsley mixture over top of the steaks.

Drizzle the butter over

Broil until the cheese is melted and beginning to turn brown.

Let stand for three minutes before serving and ENJOY!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Favorite Things Friday: Valentine Edition

Valentine's Day is just around the corner so I wanted to share a few items that have caught my eye 

I think that conversations hearts make a PERFECT addition to popcorn! This Heart Popcorn will be something that we will have to try out this weekend! I know that Hunter and Gibson would have a blast making it... and sampling!

Valentine themed succulent plants would make a cute gift for a neighbor, co-worker, or teacher!

This TWO ingredient lip gloss seems SUPER easy to make and would be a good gift for Emma to give her friends!

and who doesn't love some EOS Lip Balm if you don't want to make your own...

This Paint Set Valentine will be what Hunter ends up giving to his friends at Pre-school! Love that it is NOT candy.

ummmm Raspberry Cupcakes + Champagne = PERFECTION

This Shirt from Etsy just tells it like it is...

If you want to see the super cute Valentines that Hunter made last year you can see them HERE
2015 Valentine Round up HERE